Jack Ellis hits unbeaten 73 as Rainhill cruise to 9-wicket victory
Ormskirk 142-7 (Alex McNally 92, Nathan Brighouse 15; Jack Lowrie 2-10)
Rainhill 144-1 (Jack Ellis 73*, Owen Groom 49*; Theo Brown 1-11)
Rainhill (3pts) beat Ormskirk (0 pts) by 9 wickets
Rainhill's under 18s side won their second successive match to go top of the LCJL u18s Green Group.
Facing challenging opponents in a strong Ormskirk side, Rainhill were able to answer all the questions asked of them and underlined their own potential. With Ormskirk having won the toss and electing to bat, Rainhill made a perfect start to the match when Luis Duffy held a superb catch at gully to dismiss the dangerous Nikhil Rao for 0. However, Ormskirk rallied with Alex McNally and Nathan Brighouse playing some fine shots as they built a solid second wicket partnership. McNally was in a particularly billigerent mood while Brighouse was more cautious, scoring 15 from 26 balls before Jack Ellis held a catch from his own bowling.
The promising partnership ended with the score on 60 for 2. The unflappable McNally looked in control and determined to impose himself on the game, but none of his partners were able to stay with him for long. Next out was Aaron Adair, who misjudged a delivery from Owen Groom and was out, lbw, for 5. He was followed shortly afterwards by Oliver Roper, whose mis-hit provided a straightforward catch for wicketkeeper Sam Ellis. Charlie Scott was run out courtesy of a direct hit.
However, the dangerman was still at the crease and had been steadily building his score while wickets tumbled around him. Having reached 92, McNally opted for the aerial route but only found Oliver Powell on the boundary who made a decent catch under pressure. McNally's excellent knock had come from 57 balls and included 10 fours and 1 six.
Another wicket followed shortly afterwards when David Pennington found a way through to Sol Payrick's pads. In spite of the loss of seven wickets, Ormskirk had reached 142 from their 20 overs which, if not a daunting target, was far from a straightforward one. Chasing it down would not be a formality.
Indeed, Ormskirk made the breakthrough in the scond ball of Rainhill's innings. Luis Duffy looked to direct a short-length ball from Theo Brown towards the boundary but was instead caught by Sam Mitchell at square leg. Ormskirk were understandably delighted with the wicket; Duffy was demonstrably less happy. However, it was to be as good as things got for the visitors as Jack Ellis and Owen Groom were able to chase down the target with the loss of no further wickets, scoring so quickly that they reached their target with 2.5 overs remaining. Ellis's unbeaten 73 came from 63 balls - including 6 fours and 2 sixes, while Groom's 49 not out had come from 45 balls and contained 3 fours. The pair rode their luck at times, but It was a partnership built on a good understanding between the two batsmen, characterised by sound temperament, good technique and excellent running between the wickets.
Rainhill's next match will be away to Rainford on Monday 5th July.
Umpires: John Pearson
Scorers: David Crossley